Readings With Meaning For Your LGBTQ+ Wedding Ceremony
Nothing is more joyous than being able to marry the love of your life! And, when it comes to planning weddings folks tend to focus on their reception, but the wedding ceremony is where much of the magic happens! The ceremony is, after all, where your relationship becomes official! That moment can be even more fulfilling for members of the LGBTQ+ community, knowing all the trailblazers that came before them to make this moment possible! However, while celebratory, powerful and important, a wedding ceremony is definitely not a one-size-fits-all kind of event!
A traditional ceremony might work for some, but many more LGBTQ+ couples are choosing to shake up wedding traditions by replacing wedding vows or readings with meaningful and personally meaningful ones that are a better reflection of their relationship. Traditional vows and readings can at times come across as outdated and full of gendered language that, perhaps, doesn’t reflect the values and sentiment of the couple.
Readings That Would Make A Perfect Fit for a LGBTQ+ Ceremony
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
This excerpt from Wild Awake captures the magic of an intimate and vulnerable relationship, in which you can trust your partner to see the completeness of your humanity, and love you because of it:
“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time, all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Hodges v. Obergefell
We’ve seen this excerpt from Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Hodges v. Obergefell, used to great effect, when read by the wedding officiant before the wedding ceremony begins!
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
This beautiful poem, The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson, perfectly encapsulates what it takes to love someone over the long haul, through all the moments, big and small, and doesn’t contain one line of gendered language!
“A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things –-
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner –-
It is being the right partner.”
I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings
I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings is a gorgeous poem about the undying, forever kind of love you imagine when you join your life with another, and it’s positively swoon-worthy:
“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)”
And I Have You by Nikki Giovanni
And I Have You by Nikki Giovanni, is an adorable poem about partnership and feeling complete:
“Rain has drops, Sun has shine
Moon has beams, That makes you mine
Rivers have banks, Sands for shores
Hearts have heartbeats, That make me yours
Needles have eyes, Though pins may prick
Elmer has glue, To make things stick
Winter has Spring, Stockings feet
Pepper has mint, To make it sweet
Teachers have lessons, Soup du jour
Lawyers sue bad folks, Doctors cure
All and all, This much is true
You have me, And I have you”
About the Author
Jake Nissen is a charismatic and refreshingly down to earth DJ who exudes good vibrations. A lifelong music and pop culture fanatic, and natural people person, Jake is passionate about teaming up with you to make your celebration amazing. Jake started his DJ journey while he was earning his Media Arts degree, and DJ’ing at local bars […]